Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
YUKON DELTA- Refuge Hosts Fish Pathology Workshop
Alaska Region, April 4, 2005
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What would bring Dr. Steve Smith, a veterinarian and fish pathologist from Virginia Tech, from his warm lab to the cold of late March in Bethel Alaska? Since it was 20 below zero when he arrived, surely it wasn?t our weather. Dr. Smith, along with Cathy Johnson from NCTC and Dan Smolen from the World Wildlife Fund came to teach a workshop on ?Common Diseases and Problems of Fish in Alaska? for representatives from 11 villages from across the YK Delta. The workshop, a collaboration of the Service, the Native Village of Paimiut(Hooper Bay), and the World Wildlife Fund, trained individuals to recognize and collect tumors and parasites in fish. After training they were provided necessary equipment to participate in a Fish Monitoring and Reporting network. The network links different reporting sites with specialists who will be able to examine tissues and parasites.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game provided salmon for the participants to dissect during the lab sessions.

During the 3-day workshop, participants also attended sessions at the Kuskokwim campus of Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks on working with the media. While village representatives were attending the media sessions, Dr. Smith presented a workshop for Refuge staff. Support for the training was provided by a grant to the Bering Sea Ecoregion program of the World Wildlife Fund from the National Science Foundation. ?We hope this will be a catalyst for developing a cooperative network for ecological monitoring across the Delta,? said Manager Mike Rearden.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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